Avatar photo

About Prof. Jon Fairburn

Professor of Sustainable Development.

New publication – The impact of environmental provisions in trade agreements on non-communicable disease: working paper

This working paper for PETRA by Prof John Middleton, Paul Southon, and Prof Jon Fairburn examines the environmental provisions currently being used in trade agreements and considers how the international environment conventions might help address some of the determinants of health that lead to non-communicable diseases. It provides a unique and comprehensive overview of the health risks from a range of issues including climate change, wildfires, extreme weather effects, air quality, hazardous waste, and chemicals. Three case studies are included to look at the environmental impacts of the UK-Australia trade deal, the Volkswagen “Dieselgate” scandal, and the growing problems of electronic waste.

Download the working paper

Other relevant work

Environmental health inequalities research – assessment report, systematic reviews and a resource package for the WHO European Region

Jon Fairburn tweets @ProfJonFairburn or you can email him mailto:jon.fairburn@staffs.ac.uk

Environment Agency Survey on Environmental Equity

Go to Main survey

What is Environmental Equity?

Achieving environmental equity for everyone means that no single group or community unfairly shoulders the burden of environmental risk (such as flooding, pollution and the adverse impacts of climate change) or is unfairly denied access to environmental benefits (such as access to nature).  

This survey refers to environmental ‘equity’ and ‘inequity. When referring to inequity we consider this as one of the main drivers of distributional inequalities. Inequality simply refers to the unequal distribution of environmental risks and benefits whereas inequity refers to unfair and avoidable differences between community groups and populations and is often the result of distributional processes including many decades of economic and planning policies. These differences can have far reaching impacts on people’s lives and on their health and wellbeing.

“The route to achieving equity will not be accomplished through treating everyone equally. It will be achieved by treating everyone justly according to their circumstances.”[1]

Why are we conducting this survey?                       


Clean air, water and land, and access to high quality green and blue spaces is important for personal health and wellbeing. However, these necessities are unequally distributed with the result that some people can thrive whilst others are underserved and exposed to poor environmental quality and greater environmental risk. Those least well served are often communities in more deprived areas and/or those with above average rates of people of minority ethnic background. For example, analysis by the Environment Agency and others shows that more socially deprived communities are exposed to higher flood risk, and are more likely to have a waste sites located in their area.


The Government’s national 25 Year Environment Plan recognises such inequity noting that “pollution affects us all but it is the most disadvantaged in society who suffer more. The poorer you are, the more likely it is that your house, and your children’s school and playground are close to highly-polluted roads, and the less likely you are to enjoy ready access to green spaces”. Managing environmental equity is important in delivering on the Plan’s commitment to “ensure an equal distribution of environmental benefits, resources and opportunities”. In a recent speech on environmental equity and climate justice, Environment Agency Chief Executive Sir James Bevan said that the Agency needs to play its part so that “the Environment Agency is for everyone in this country, not just for some.” We will do this by working in, for and with communities and by making all decisions in the context of the relevant social, environmental and economic factors. Our internal Action plan EA2025 and our sustainability strategy, eMission2030, further set out our commitment to contribute to a just and fair society.

Understanding Equity

To help tackle environmental inequalities the Environment Agency wants to embed practices that ensure the work we do in the environment is fair and benefits those who need it most. In order to do this we want to understand how our work impacts on environmental inequity whether we adequately address inequity in our strategies, planning advice, regulation, building and maintenance of assets and in our partnership working; and what actions we need to take as a result. We anticipate that some action could be taken in the near term whilst other actions may take longer or require further resources, or may be beyond our ability to influence altogether. Actions we take must be consistent with our remit as defined by parliament, but we know issues around environmental equity and environmental justice are complex and far reaching, so we are keen to work with others who share our ambitions on social justice and the environment.

The Survey

This consultation is part of an Environment Agency research project intended to help us develop our response to environmental inequity. We wish to hear from you about how you think we are doing on environmental equity, and what more we need to consider. We are seeking views from a wide range of stakeholders in our work, including those in civil society, such as NGOs, campaigning organisations and local community action groups. We particularly wish to hear from people who do not identify as under-represented groups, given their under-representation in the environment sector.  The survey asks about your views on environmental equity and any experience of the Environment Agency, and your views on how we could best address environmental inequity in future. By completing the survey, you will contribute to the shaping of the Environment Agency’s work and our contribution to a more environmentally equal society.

Survey Structure The survey comprises questions that ask you to choose between or rate options, plus some questions that present opportunities to provide fuller written responses. The survey will take about 15 minutes to complete. All information will be treated confidentially, and individuals will not be identified.

This voluntary survey will help the Environment Agency develop a better understanding of how its work impacts on environmental equity. All data is anonymous and any data use will be non-identifiable (we are not collecting any personal data). To disseminate the survey we may use your individual email address. These have been sourced, and will be used, in compliance with GDPR – they will not be shared.

Go to Main survey

This project has been granted ethics approval by Staffordshire University Ethics procedures. All data is anonymous.

If you have any questions about this project please contact one of the following:

Prof Jon Fairburn, Staffordshire University

Dr Gordon Mitchell, University of Leeds

Dr Joe Swift, Environment Agency

[1] The Race Matters Institute | Racial Equity Transforms Organizations (viablefuturescenter.org)

Social Inequalities in Exposure to Ambient Air Pollution: A Systematic Review in the WHO European Region

New paper that is open access

Full reference is Fairburn, J.; Schüle, S.A.; Dreger, S.; Karla Hilz, L.; Bolte, G. Social Inequalities in Exposure to Ambient Air Pollution: A Systematic Review in the WHO European Region. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health201916, 3127.

Here’s a short film of me discussing it

Follow me on twitter @Profjonfairburn and connect with me on Linkedin

New paper – Do alternative weighting approaches for an Index of Multiple Deprivation change the association with mortality? A sensitivity analysis from Germany

A new paper from Prof Jon Fairburn with collegaues in Germany. This is largely a technical paper looking at aspects of a German Index of Mutliple Deprivation. However it also considers general aspects of Deprivation indices and some of the approaches that are possible with the weighting of different components.

The article is open access so available to everyone and has a creative commons licence and has been published in BMJ Open Vol 9 Issue 8.



Two new Balkan papers – both open access

Stojčić, N, Hashi, I, Aralica, Z. Creativity, innovations and firm performance in an emerging transition economy (2018) Ekonomski Pregled, 69 (3), pp. 203-228.

Despite the longstanding consensus that creativity is the seedbed of innovation, the limited literature in this area fails to explore the contribution of various aspects of creativity to different stages of the innovation process or the mechanisms used by the management to foster the creativity of employees. This paper adopts a more complex strategy in order to highlight the role of creativity in the entire innovation process from the decision to innovate to investment in innovation, the transformation of innovation input into output and the effect of innovation output on productivity. A multi – stage CDM – type model encompassing different elements of creativity and practices designed to enhance creative potential is applied to the most recent Community Innovation Survey data. In modelling the management of creativity a distinction is made between decisions of firms to hire creative employees and the methods used to foster creativity of personnel such as multidisciplinary work teams, financial incentives and training for creativity. The results indicate that employees with creative skills and the adoption of creativity – enhancing methods by the management are important factors for innovation and better performance of enterprises. They also point to sectoral differences in the impact of creativity on innovation.


Abdixhiku, L., Pugh, G., Hashi, I. Business tax evasion in transition economies: A cross-country panel investigation (2018) European Journal of Comparative Economics, 15 (1), pp. 11-36.

This paper uses the Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Survey data for the years 1999, 2002 and 2005 to investigate business tax evasion in 24 transition economies. We use both conventional fixed effects estimation and the recently developed Fixed Effect Vector Decomposition approach. The most robust finding in our study is the importance of institutional factors. In particular, higher levels of corruption related to tax administration and slower transition reforms substantially reduce the amount of taxes paid by businesses in transition economies. In addition, we find a positive relationship between evasion and tax rate; and identify minor effects of the macroeconomic environment. We also find that social norms play a significant role in tax evasion. These findings inform policy recommendations intended to reduce either the possibility and/or the inclination to evade.


Childhood Bereavement Study – participants wanted

This study by Staffordshire University needs parents with children aged 3-6 years’ old for a study on how children cope in education when one parent dies. Your participation is voluntary and is a 30-minute interview about your experiences and the involvement of nursery or school staff in helping to support your child. All interview data is collated on a digital device that is password protected.

For further information, please contact Ruth Gill on r.gill@staffs.ac.uk / 01782 294969

This project has the full support of Child Bereavement UK

Access to Learning course for adults in addiction recovery – RECOVEU

RECOVEU – A participative approach to curriculum development for adults in addiction recovery across the EU

RECOVEU is a project funded by the EU and based on an international partnership of educators and practitioners working in the field of drug addiction.

During the course of the project an ‘Access to Learning’ pack to help adults in addiction recovery prepare for, and succeed in, further learning has been developed. The activities within the course take into account the specific barriers that socially disadvantaged people, such as those in addiction recovery, often face and their development has been informed by people in recovery and drug treatment providers.

The full Course Pack consisting of the ‘Access to Learning’ materials, Evaluation Toolkit and Guidelines for Delivery is freely available on an E-Learning Platform on the RECOVEU website together with an online ‘Train the Trainers’ module: www.recoveu.org

For further details of the project please contact: Tom Ward, Project Administrator (t.ward@staffs.ac.uk)

A Plan for Economic Renewal in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire

With Ruth Smeeth MP -(Stoke-on-Trent North and Kidsgrove)

You are cordially invited to join us for a discussion on ‘Economic Renewal in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire’, organised in partnership with Staffordshire University.

This is an opportunity for academics, business leaders, students and local residents to begin a serious discussion about how to develop a long-term vision for the area.

The event will feature a keynote speech from Ruth Smeeth MP on the economic challenges and opportunities for Stoke-on-Trent followed by workshops and discussions on some of the issues facing North Staffordshire.

Date: Wednesday 15th Feb

Location: LT111/113 Ashley Building, Leek Road, Staffordshire University, Stoke on Trent ST4 2DF

Time: 1.00 – 3.30pm

Facilitators from Staffordshire University (Business and Education)

Twitter – @RuthSmeeth @BusinessStaffs

To register please email ruth.smeeth.mp@parliament.uk or contact us on 020 7219 4844

For further details please contact Glen Watson on glen.watson@parliament.uk or by phone on 01782 454 370

New paper: R&D Programmes, Policy Mix, and the ‘European Paradox’: Evidence from European SMEs

by Dr Dragana Radicic and Prof Geoff Pugh

Using a sample of small and medium-sized enterprises from twenty-eight European countries, this study evaluates the input and output additionality of national and European Union (EU) R&D programmes both separately and in combination. Accordingly, we contribute to understanding the effectiveness of innovation policy from the perspective of policy mix. Empirical results are different for innovation inputs and outputs. For innovation inputs, we found positive treatment effects from national and EU programmes separately as well as complementary effects for firms supported from both sources relative to firms supported only by national programmes. For innovation outputs,we report no evidence of additionality from national programmes and cannot reject crowding out from EU programmes. However, crowding out from EU support is eliminated by combination with national support. These findings have policy implications for the governance of R&D policy
and suggest that the European paradox—success in promoting R&D inputs but not commercialisation— is not yet mitigated.

Key words: R&D support; SMEs; policy mix; input and output additionality; European paradox

Science and Public Policy, 2016, 1–16
doi: 10.1093/scipol/scw077


Environmental Justice, Indices of Multiple Deprivation and international progress

My latest paper written with Werner Maier (Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany) and Matthias Braubach (World Health Organisation) has just been published. The first draft of this was written using the Boice method that I have discussed previously  

Incorporating Environmental Justice into Second Generation Indices of Multiple Deprivation: Lessons from the UK and Progress Internationally has been published in an open access journal in a special issue focused on Environmental Justice in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.  


Second generation area-based indices of multiple deprivation have been extensively used in the UK over the last 15 years. They resulted from significant developments in political, technical, and conceptual spheres for deprivation data. We review the parallel development of environmental justice research and how and when environmental data was incorporated into these indices. We explain the transfer of these methods from the UK to Germany and assess the progress internationally in developing such indices. Finally, we illustrate how billions of pounds in the UK was allocated by using these tools to tackle neighbourhood deprivation and environmental justice to address the determinants of health.


Eroica Britannia – Day 1

So here I am in Bakewell for day 1 of the fantastic festival known as Eroica Britannia.

Riders are getting registered

Rider registration at Eroica

and then having a quick drink in the tent


There’s all sort on including talks about racing on penny farthings


There’s lots of bike stuff to buy


Plus great food including vegan


Local stalls such as British Boxers


Great music from Lewis and Leigh


So come along and join in . You can follow Eroica on twitter , facebook, and instagram

My report from 2015 with lots of great pictures is available as pdf here web version or here print version.

If you would like know more about sustainable tourism and building a career in the industry we have a range of courses or visit us on an Open Day.

You can also follow us on twitter @tourismsu  and we have a Sustainable Tourism in Europe facebook page



Eroica Britannia 2016 – get ready !

L'eroica BritanniaEroica Britannia at Bakewell is now in its third year and what a great event it is. A vintage bicycle festival over three days (17-19th June) with the bicycle races on the Sunday. Over the first two days activities include

  • live music
  • vintage fairground
  • dancing
  • great food and drink
  • family cinema
  • best in show
  • bicycle jumble
  • talks and debates
  • plus loads of great bike and vintage stalls

On the Sunday 4,500 riders will take part in the races over 30, 55 or 100 miles. The routes around the Peak District are here if you want to cheer them on.

At Eroica

You can follow Eroica on twitter , facebook, and instagram

My report from 2015 with lots of great pictures is available as pdf here web version  or here print version.

Eroica Britannia

If you would like know more about sustainable tourism and building a career in the industry we have a range of courses or visit us on an openday.

You can also follow us on twitter @tourismsu  and we have a Sustainable Tourism in Europe facebook page

Keep an eye here as I will be blogging from the event.


£10 for 10 days writing challenge

Today, I delivered a Research Conversation (organised by Dr Katy Vigurs) . The theme was pre-research activity and then getting started. I have previously blogged about Boice Advice for New Faculty Members so I adapted some of that and some ideas of my own to develop and issue a challenge to the audience at the end

£10 for 10 days writing challenge rules

  • 10 days of writing
  • 20 to a maximum of 30 minutes writing per day
  • Monday to Friday only
  • 8am to 6 pm
  • No references needed but you can include them if you want
  • ONLY Writing – not find references, etc.
  • Email partners to say done each day (optional but you will find it useful)
  • Email me the writing when finished to claim the £10

When I have used this approach I have found that I can write 200-250 words per day, so if everything goes to plan they should have roughly a 2000-2500 word draft at the end. Let’s get writing a little and often.

The idea is to change existing behaviour!

I accompanied the challenge with some tips:

  • Choose the same time everyday.
  • I chose to make it the first thing I did every day, so sitting on the desktop as I logged in was the word document.
  • Put a sign on the door DO NOT DISTURB !

Anyway the following signed up to the challenge:

Law – Hannah Jones, Rhona Hammond-Sharlot, Jo Beswick,

Business – Zedias Mutema, Hazel Squire, Ahmad Mlouk, Mark Wordley, Andy Hanks, Carol Southall, Stephen Kelly, Andras Kenez, Carl Cattell, Ganess Dirpal.

Education – Katy Vigurs, Sarah Misra,

I can’t recommend Boice highly enough and we have copies in our library. Quite frankly this book should just be issued to all academics when they start working at any University. Anyone who accepted the challenge will find it useful.

Good luck to all those that accepted the challenge.

£10 for 10 days writing challenge

£10 for 10 days writing challenge


Middleport Pottery 中港陶器 – a guide for Chinese Visitors

Middleport Pottery

Provision of tourism attraction material in foreign languages is one way of attracting international visitors and the largest group of international travellers in the world are the Chinese middle classes. Staffordshire University often acts as host to Chinese visitors in the region due to the links we have with universities in China we also host to many Chinese students every year who come here to study.

Charlotte Rabey, Vincent Law, John Lowther and Frances Hunt

Charlotte Rabey, Vincent Law, John Lowther and Frances Hunt

The project team is composed of Vincent Law (BA Bus. Man. Fast Track), Charlotte Rabey (BA Events Man. Fast Track) and Frances Hunt (BA Bus. Man. Fast Track). They have been working with Prof Jon Fairburn and Dr Junie Tong to support Middleport Pottery in producing tourism materials in a range of print and audio formats.

As well as the general guide and plan of the site being available in simplified Chinese, a number of audio files have been created in Cantonese, Mandarin and English.

Middleport Pottery 中港陶器 – general introduction in simplified Chinese (pdf)

Middleport Pottery Plan – Chinese (pdf)


Sound files in Cantonese – 廣東話录音

Introduction to Middleport Pottery – 中港陶器

The Lodge – 游客中心

 The General Office – 办公室

The Designers Room – 设计师房间

Centenary Showroom 1951 – 百周年纪念室

Upstairs above the visitor centre 第二楼展览

The Bottle Oven Kiln – 瓶形窑

The Mould Store – 陶冶房

The cafe – 咖啡馆

The Burleigh shop – 伯利商店

The Factory Tour – 工厂旅程


Sound files in Mandarin – 普通话录音

Introduction to Middleport Pottery – 中港陶器

The Lodge – 游客中心

The General Office – 办公室

The Designers Room – 设计师房间

Centenary Showroom 1951 – 百周年纪念室

Upstairs above the visitor centre 第二楼展览

The Bottle Oven Kiln – 瓶形窑

The Mould Store – 陶冶房

The cafe – 咖啡馆

The Burleigh shop – 伯利商店

The Factory tour – 工厂旅程


Sound files in English – maybe useful for those with sight difficulties or who just prefer an aural medium – research by Charlotte Rabey, voice files by Frances Hunt.

Introduction to Middleport Pottery

The Visitor Centre

The General Office

The Designers Room

Centenary Showroom 1951

Upstairs above the visitor centre

The Bottle Oven Kiln

The Mould Store

The cafe

The Burleigh shop


The Factory tour


If you are interested in working on projects like this with us then please get in touch with Prof Jon Fairburn tel 01782 294094

Jon Fairburn and Vincent Law

Jon Fairburn and Vincent Law

If you would like to study tourism management or events management with us more information can be found here or come along to one of our open days.

Keep up to date with all things tourism and events by following our twitter feed @tourismsu



Please help us with our tourism questionnaire

We have a project to assist the tourism industry and a first activity is to find out the views of the different groups involved. A facebook group is also available if you are interested in these issues. 

The first questionnaire is for accommodation providers, visitor attractions, cafe/restaurants and other parts of the tourism industry – these are the main focus of the project and we will be developing an online training site based on this feedback. The site will allow the training to be customised (e.g. according to the type of establishment, type of staff etc) and provide feedback on progress.Please access the tourism industry survey here.

The second questionnaire is for  people living in areas with a tourism industry present. We have a short questionnaire of only 9 questions to get your views.Please access the community survey here.

The final questionnaire is for people who are tourists and who have been on holiday in the last year. Please access the tourist questionnaire here.

Thank you very much for your help and if you have any questions please get in touch with me on 01782 294094 or jon.fairburn@staffs.ac.uk

Partners in the UK include Newcastle under Lyme college where the team is led by Vicky Disley

Newcastle under Lyme College and Jonathan Karkut and Dr Julie Scott at Touch TD

Touch TD

Funded under ERASMUS





The best places to eat and drink in Europe

Do you enjoy food and drink plus prefer exploring new regions? Then the recent announcement of Winners of the EU EDEN Destinations of Excellence Awards for Tourism and local gastronomy  is just what you need if you are planning this year’s holidays in Europe.

According to data of the UNWTO, for about 44% of travellers around the globe, food is one of the three criteria they take into consideration when they decide where to travel. It is one of the top 5 factors driving visitors’ satisfaction. 1 in 5 international visitors to Europe are involved in gastronomic activities on their trip.

The EDEN Awards recognise the important work that is being done by the winning destinations with their specialised tourism offers. The awards help raise awareness for sustainable food tourism, and draws attention to exciting, little-known European destinations that are off the beaten track.

If you would like know more about sustainable tourism and building a career in the industry we have a range of courses or visit us on an openday.

You can also follow us on twitter @tourismsu

On the links you will find a description of the region and their specialties as well as links to the official tourism sites to get you started. 

Of course if you are wondering where to visit in England then Staffordshire is fantastic, and here are some great events happening in Staffordshire in 2016


16 great regional events in 2016

This is just a flavour of the events that are happening in the region over the next year. Many of these events provide volunteer opportunities for our students, credited work experience and some organisations become partners in our research. The Peak District is the most popular national park in Europe and provides a great laboratory for our  field visits as well. So see the link if you want to know more about our courses in Events Management and Tourism Management or visit us on an Open Day.

Remember to follow us on twitter @tourismsu 

If you are reading this from abroad here is a guide for how to get to Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire

Students getting ready for Stone Food and Drink festival

How to get to Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire – a guide for European visitors

Last updated Oct 2019


If you are coming from France, Belgium, the Netherlands or even parts of Germany it is worth considering the train. If coming from Brussels or Paris it will be both quicker and cheaper than flying plus you can usually travel at a better time of day.

The Eurostar site may be all you need.

The German national railway site where you can look for journeys all across Europe is very good. Available in lots of languages click the flag icon at the top.

http://seat61.com/  an amazing site site full of hints and tips on train travel across Europe. You should definitely have a look at this site before you buy a train ticket.

You will need to change trains in London. You arrive in London St Pancras and you will need to go to London Euston. The easiest way to do this is to walk it (about 10-15mins), come out the main entrance onto Euston Road and then follow that in the south west direction (see http://goo.gl/maps/3t6Yt ). If possible try and book your ticket all the way through to Stoke on Trent as this is a much cheaper option in general. Paris to Stoke can be as little as £65 or 65 Euros one way (prices correct Oct 2019). 

Flights and airports

There are four possible airports, in descending order of ease of travel to reach Stoke on Trent – Manchester, Birmingham, East Midlands, Liverpool.

Manchester – Has a dedicated train station (Manchester Airport) to connect to the main Manchester Piccadilly train station. Manchester Piccadilly to Stoke is about 45minutes on the train direct.

Birmingham – Has a dedicated train station Birmingham International with frequent services to Birmingham New Street which is the main station where you may need to change but there are also direct trains to Stoke on Trent. Direct journey time is about 1 hour 10 minutes.

East Midlands – If you are going to be hiring a car then this airport may be suitable. From the airport by car you come along the A50 in about 45mins to 1 hour.

Liverpool – again if you are hiring a car this may be suitable

You might want to try the websites http://www.skyscanner.net/  or google flights when looking for flights.

Travelling within the UK 

Airport taxis – the University supplier is A Star Travel and they are excellent, friendly people used to working with overseas visitors. Email information@a-star-travel.com

Tel +44 1782 633555             Mobile +44 7774 808083

Trains within Britain

There’s lot of train sites but don’t let that fool you, underneath they are all using the same database!


Arriving at Stoke on Trent by Train

Stoke on Trent train station is right next to the Campus and forms part of the University Quarter.

As you come out the main entrance you will see a statute of Josiah Wedgwood opposite. If you go left you will come to College Road, if you go right you will come to Leek Road (see the campus map link below).

 Taxis within the Stoke on Trent area

Lucy Seven Taxi https://www.luckyseventaxis.co.uk/   01782 33 33 33

 Other useful information

If you want to know where to stay and eat in area then visit this link

Global Entrepreneurship week events at Staffordshire University


This gallery contains 4 photos.

Organisers – Prof Jon Fairburn, Clair Hameed, Ben Dyer, Angela Lawrence, Hazel Squire, Mark Wordley Contacts Jon Fairburn 01782 294094 or Clair Hameed 01785 353518 with initial queries or media requests Social media Business School twitter Be Inspired twitter Ben Dyer – Enterprise Days … Continue reading